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Fourth Amendment

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Fourth Amendment Protection For Stored E-Mail, Patricia L. Bellia, Susan Freiwald Jan 2008

Fourth Amendment Protection For Stored E-Mail, Patricia L. Bellia, Susan Freiwald

Journal Articles

The question of whether and how the Fourth Amendment regulates government access to stored e-mail remains open and pressing. A panel of the Sixth Circuit recently held in Warshak v. United States, 490 F.3d 455 (6th Cir. 2007), that users generally retain a reasonable expectation of privacy in the e-mails they store with their Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which implies that government agents must generally acquire a warrant before they may compel ISPs to disclose their users' stored e-mails. The Sixth Circuit, however, is reconsidering the case en banc. This Article examines the nature of stored e-mail surveillance and argues …


The Fourth Amendment Status Of Stored E-Mail: The Law Professors' Brief In Warshak V. United States, Susan Freiwald, Patricia L. Bellia Jan 2007

The Fourth Amendment Status Of Stored E-Mail: The Law Professors' Brief In Warshak V. United States, Susan Freiwald, Patricia L. Bellia

Journal Articles

This paper contains the law professors' brief in the landmark case of Warshak v. United States, the first federal appellate case to recognize a reasonable expectation of privacy in electronic mail stored with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). While the 6th circuit's opinion was subsequently vacated and reheard en banc, the panel decision will remain extremely significant for its requirement that law enforcement agents must generally acquire a warrant before compelling an ISP to disclose its subscriber's stored e-mails. The law professors' brief, co-authored by Susan Freiwald (University of San Francisco) and Patricia L. Bellia (Notre Dame) and signed by …